I really like when my job pushes me to think about things – about life, relationships, and ourselves. This month as part of the Stonyfield YoGetters group I was asked to talk with my daughter about when she feels most loved by myself and my husband. The question is not necessarily a tough one to ask but maybe the answers might be hard to hear in the sense of finding out whether I am doing enough of what makes her feel most loved. What do you think your kids would say if you asked them:
“So when do you feel loved? What can mommy and daddy do to help you feel loved?”
It got me thinking about various relationships throughout my own life and how each of us comes to the table with a wide array of life experiences and how not all of us feel loved the same way. What type of home environment were you raised in? One that had lots of hugs and expressions of love? Or one where love was shown with things? Or maybe your parents had a hard time communicating their love.
Do we not then carry these expectations of how love should be shown into adulthood? And what happens when these expectations are not met. Part of growing up is the ability to give to others with little or no expectations for these acts of kindness to be reciprocated. Could that not also apply when showing acts of love? Do we have disappointment when our expectations of how love should be shown, isn’t.
These past two years since my father passed away has really been eye-opening to me in that I think many people just don’t know how to show they care. Maybe they do from afar but part of demonstrating our love for others is as simple as just showing up. Something my nine year old has figured out already (see her comment below). Showing up could be something as simple as a phone call or a how are you doing when you know a friend or family member is going through a difficult time.
I can say I had some weird responses from friends I have known for many years. One friend went so far as to unfriend me on Facebook the week I was helping my mom clear out their home in Colorado. I found that several just distanced themselves so they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. I have come to peace with that as much as I can as I realize that many of us don’t feel comfortable speaking about or dealing with something so final as a loved one passing on. But being loving is about being present for the hard stuff with people we care about don’t you think? Throughout my life, I have also not shown up when I should have. But one of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou sums it up:
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Thank you for letting me share this with you as I am able to let this go now – all of it. If you find yourself holding on to any hurts – look at 2016 as a way to let. it. all. go! Poof!
With my own child I was really curious to hear what she had to say about when she feels most loved. Her response was nothing less then what I would expect a pretty evolved person to say. “Just spending time with you and daddy” was her answer. Her favorite thing to do and when she feels most loved is when we spend quality time with her. Whether it be hanging playing games or reading together or putting together a party, just having one or both of us be present – like really present – with her makes her smile within. I love this!
At nine she figured out what really matters to her. Just spending time with those she loves. It isn’t the trips to fancy restaurants or trips to Disneyland – though a trip to the ice cream store is high on her list – but just being present. May I aspire to do that more often in the treasured relationships in my life.
What do you think your kids would say if asked this question?
Note: Today’s post is sponsored by Stonyfield Organics but all opinions are my own.